“Online Only” Games

I must ask for your cooperation ahead of time because this is going to be messy. Here we go..

Back in April, Bandai Namco told us a new Naruto game was in the works. The title, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, is a 4v4 online fighting game. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “It’s Naruto, who cares?” Well you’re right; if you don’t like Naruto then this won’t bother you. Let’s just forget it’s Naruto; what grinds my gears is the label “online only”.

A new-ish trend developers have been toying around with is the “online only” games. For example, games like For HonorThe Division, and Destiny all require gamers play their games online. It means exactly what it says; “online only” is for players with functioning Internet, and most likely, will require you to have friends or people you can play with if you want to truly enjoy the game. At the moment, I really have two main issues with this trend.

Internet Issues

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One thing I enjoy about my single player games is that I can play the game offline. If there’s a sever weather alert that f’s up my Internet, or if I just don’t have working Internet, I can at least play Red Dead Redemption or Crash Bandicoot. Now, if I want to play For Honor while I wait for the thunderstorm to pass, I get a rude reminder when it says I “can’t connect to the server”. This is especially bad when the game’s servers or Xbox Live/PSN are down for their “routine maintenance” (why do they always choose the long weekends to do maintenance?).

Online only games obviously cater to Internet connections. The weaker it is, the better off you are skipping the game. My friend has horrible Internet connection, so he sticks to single player only.

Content 

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Alright, maybe that last point I was trying to make was weak. This one you have to agree with, or at least, I hope you understand what I’m saying.

Upon it’s release in 2014, Destiny (I just love picking on Bungie, I’m sorry!) was labeled as an “always connected” shooter that promised to be this massive open world, with a ton of activities to participate in. Boy was I surprised at the amount of content the expansions came with, that should’ve been in the base game.

Destiny is not the only offender that deliberately lacked content. Star Wars Battlefront suffered immensely because there was no effort for a single player campaign, and players got bored with doing the same multiplayer only tasks. I think, and forgive me for thinking, developers justify the lack of content by saying we can play with our friends 24/7. Listen, I love my friends, but if they aren’t on, I’m screwed if I want to play one of these online only games.

Conclusion

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Hmm.. That wasn’t as messy as I thought it was going to be.

Folks, I don’t like online only games. It’s only after a certain period of time do I finally realize that they were a waste of time and money. With the new Naruto game, I fear that it being online only, it’ll suffer from the same fate. This goes for all games that follow this trend. If you’re going to develop an online only game, please make sure there’s enough content to rival that of a basic single player game. Especially if you’re going to charge me full price for it.

What are your thoughts on online only games?


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